Modern technologies improve the world, in every way. From physical to digital technological advances, the world has been on a steady upward movement in terms of technological improvements since the nineteenth century. Inventions and innovations have been more prevalent than ever, and the effects continue to manifest in the personal and professional lives of humans. Inventions have also continued to be made better by innovations over the decades; Electricity has taken a different dimension from when it was invented by Edison, and cars are significantly different in modern day from when they were invented by Benz.
The legal world has benefited from modern technologies, just like the rest of the world. From the creation of the printing press to the advent of computers, lawyers have taken huge steps forward in the legal professions through the advent of modern technologies. The more technologies improve around the world, the more the legal profession benefits from them. Some of these improvements are highlighted below.
Document automation is one of the major advantages of modern technology from which the legal world has immensely benefited and by far the most important to lawyers around the world. Document automation is a function in many document preparation software that is responsible for creating electronic documents, and assembling documents. The legal industry benefits from this technology in many ways, including the creation of property planning documents and employment contracts. It is a function that reduces time spent proofreading, thereby reducing the level of risks associated with common human errors. Many software products are document-automation enabled and are being increasingly utilized by law firms in the United States and all over the world. Lists of this software can be found on various beneficial platforms, like Loio.
Online Repositories and Databases
Compared to how legal research used to be conducted in the past, the tools available for carrying out research in the present-day is a quite significant leap. Thanks to online storage and cloud computing, lawyers are now able to access legal materials on web-based platforms at an incredibly high speed. Certain platforms exist, containing tens of thousands of case law materials, which can be filtered and separated based on date, subject matter, jurisdiction, and deciding court. Lawyers can now find judicial precedents relevant to their cases in a matter of minutes, and extract the relevant portion of judgment within similar time. Many databases also exist online containing other sources of law, including statutes, legal articles and journals, and legal dictionaries. The availability of these technologically enabled platforms has taken legal research to the next level, thereby improving the legal profession as a whole.
Legal Enquiry and Access to Legal Information
Non-lawyers and non-members of the legal profession always need information relating to the provision of the law on taking certain steps. Sometimes, getting such information will require proper legal advice and billable hours from an attorney. Other times, they simply need legal education on a subject to prevent them from making unavoidable mistakes. Due to modern technology and minor AI functions, certain platforms have been created by legal and non-legal institutions (with the assistance of lawyers), where basic legal questions can be asked by information seekers and answered automatically. An example is the legal chatbot on the website of many law firms, where individuals can type in their questions and receive programmed legal answers digitally. Platforms like this save the law firms and their lawyers a lot of time, and at the same improves their outlook, thereby increasing their chances of attracting potential clients.
Besides the slightly sophisticated modern technologies highlighted above, the legal profession has been greatly improved by many other technological innovations, both basic and advanced. The well-known tools such as Microsoft Office still serve as the most used digital tools by lawyers over the world. For example, there are many functions within Microsoft Word for lawyers to tap into and find enhancing to their productivity. While it is clear that the legal world will continue to be impacted in greater measure by modern technologies in the coming years, the existing technology that can be beneficial to lawyers should also be maximized to the fullest. As McKinsey estimates, “23% of work done by lawyers can be automated by existing technology”.